In memory of the infamous Steve Irwin

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
Trip End May 27, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Our flight to Rurrenabaque wasn't as bad as i thought

although being able to see right into the cockpit was a bit nerving at times with all the beeping.

We also landed on a grass strip which was suprisingly smooth.

Me and Vicky weren't impressed to find there was no-one to meet us as promised but we got into town and found they'd been given the wrong time. Sorted out a room (hostel madidi) and had the top floor with a huge balcony and great view. We headed out to have some drinks to waste the afternoon and chill out and we'd been given a voucher for a free drink anyway at some pub. We decided to go for tea at an Italian as their billboard said you get a free cocktail but when we ordered we discovered this was not the case and there was a group of aussies who were really pissed off as they'd only eaten there for the free cocktails. The staff had the cheek to admit they just say that but you don't actually get one! Me and Vicky met a Swiss girl who was working in the jungle out there and we both ordered a cocktail after our meal and simply didn't give enough money to cover the drink. When the waiter returned we said it was our free cocktail and walked off - result! It's not only in Peru that you get taken for a ride!

After a very sticky sleep in 35 degree heat and probably 60% plus humidity we had breakfast and headed off to the tour company. Suprise suprise we didn't leave for another hour and a half as we were waiting for a couple to arrive on a flight, but they could have told us and we could have stayed in bed! Our group was a nice mix, Andrea and Mike from California who were 22, Sean and Maggie, Irish brother and sister, and two italian girls who spoke fluent spanish but no english so I didn't really get to know them. We had a 3 hour drive in a small truck on the dustiest road so far and my clothes were a nice brown colour after. We then got into a boat and had a 3 hour trip down the Beni river which was amazing. within a minute we saw an alligator and a cayman, then hundreds more in the water or sitting on the bank eyeing us up.

We also saw Herons, eagles, kingfisher, cranes and at one point our boat neared the edge and a group of monkeys jumped on board which was pretty cool!

We also saw the infamous pink dolphins which meant it was safe to get in and swim as apparaently they are pretty fierce and the alligators and pirahnas won't come near them....I prayed they hung around long enough for us!

That night the rest of my group played the best drinking game ever (I was the only one sober as they only had beer but it was the best time I've had sober as I was the rule enforcer!). It was called Circle of Death and I have the instructions for those of you who want them. My group managed to annoy thwe other group next door when returning to bed which didn't go down to well...

We went to bd in 35 degree heat and awoke in the middle of the night freezing and in the morning the weather was like back home, chucking it down!

It eased off a bit and we went hunting for Anacondas - a 3 hour hike around swampland which was a bit dull and tiring until our guide pulled out this 3m long anaconda - you couldn't have made it up! It smelt really bad and you could hold it round your neck for a picture but I didn't as I felt sorry for it - if that was me in the swamp I was probably eating and would have been really mad to have been pulled out of the swamp! He seemed pretty docile and felt quite soft when I stroked it-our guide said it was the biggest they'd found for a while.

In the afternoon we went pirahna fishing which was cool - dangling fresh meat off pieces of string intoi the water. You could feel a bite within 5 seconds, no joke! I caught 2 small fish which I put back in and almost got 2 pirhana but they fell off the line just as I got them out of the water (the ones that got away!). Those that we caught we kept and had for tea although they were deep fried so didn't taste of much and didn't have much meat on them - they were smaller compared to what I've seen in aquariums and yellowish tinge instead of pink. The cook made us a cake and got a bottle of wine to share which was nice and our guide played a gig on his guitar - he was amazing even though it was all in Spanish. He managed Chicatica by Abba and Imagine by the beatles in Spanish which at least I knew and I remember some song called Viva Me Patria Bolivia which was really cool.

In the morning we got up at a stupid time to go off in the boat and see the sunrise but then we got to see more monkeys. On the way back to town we stopped at the side of the river and oiur guide called over an alligator and we got to stroke it. I think every company feeds a certain alligator each trip so they are quite tame.

Me and Vicky booked into a nice hostel and met the others for tea and some drinks (Mosquito bar). The american couple for some reason thought I was still at uni and was younger tha them (they were 22) - how hey got that impression I've no idea although it may have been because I was the only one who could remember all the words to the Muppet Babies theme tune..... Vicky ran into some Danish guys from a trip in Puno who'd not spoken to her the entire trip so she wasn't all that happy to see them at first but then we realised they'd also been in my mountain bike group which is weird! I left early as I couldn't afford to drink any more (Vicky's budget is twice mine).

In the morning we had a canopy tour booked which is zip wire lines through the jungle 45 m above the ground. On the way we got to see these walking trees which have roots above the ground and apparently move to where the sunlight is.

We also saw a tarantula wasp which only stings tarantulas, paralyses them, lays eggs inside then the spidewr dies...nice! We also saw bullet ants which were huge and if they sting you, it's really abd and our guide said you cry for at least a day! We also saw catapillers making silk, some weird fluorescent green catapillars which are toxic if you touch them and a weird grasshopper that had feathers for a tail.

Our flight back was a bit bumpy and we had some drunk guy on board that we'd seen in town shouting out stuf about bombs! Think he was French. No security procedures in Rurrenabaque airport! I said goodbye to Vicky and got a bus to Oruro and planned to haed to Cochabamba early morning. At the bus station I had the best chicken soup for 80p - a bowl of soup with an entire cut of tender chicken, 2 big potatoes, an entire boiled egg, rice and some bread! Struggled to find a cheap room near the bus station in Oruro but after quite some time I had some luck and had a well deserved sleep!

Spent a fortune toay uploadin pics and videos. Some are missing as I had a problem ut wll get them onm soon so you can see the vuideo of monkeys on the boat. This PC hasd a crap keyboard too!
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Where I stayed
Hostel Madidi
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